The Counter Extremism Project (CEP) published a new report today that analyzes the profiles of individuals that joined the conflict in the Ukraine from abroad. The study, Career Break or New Career? Extremist Foreign Fighters in Ukraine , focuses on...
"Last year, Alexander Ritzmann, the Berlin head of the Counter Extremism Project, warned that the problem would grow if neonazi groups with ties to Ukrainian fascist militias such as III.Weg (“Third Path”), which has trained and invited speakers from Ukraine’s neonazi Azov Battalion, sent volunteers to fight Russian forces."
CEP Senior Advisor writes: "Nonetheless, western media has come to develop a sort of Azov obsession, buoyed by a complete lack of nuance in the reporting around this group.
One key factor missing in all of the analyses of the Azov: the difference between the Azov movement and the Azov regiment."
"Azov Movement “has strong ties to far-right extremists in many EU countries and the U.S.,” said Alexander Ritzmann, a senior advisor to the Counter Extremism Project, in an interview with Euronews.
The Azov Regiment that is fighting against Russian invaders is something completely different, he added.
Azov Regiment “was fully integrated into the Ukrainian national guard and since then operates under the command of the Ministry of the Interior,” Ritzmann said."
"Alexander Ritzmann, a researcher at the German Counter Extremism Project, noted in an article on the Euronews site that many reports about the Azov Regiment suffer from a 'complete lack of nuance' as the regiment is separate from the far-right Azov Movement."
"However, according to all available information on Asov, to argue that the battalion is a monolithic Neo-Nazi, ultra-nationalist, and anti-Semitic unity is unjustified. German-extremism researcher, Alexander Ritzmann at Berlin’s Counter Extremism Project said recently, the Azov Battalion is definitely not a right-wing extremist Battalion in the Ukrainian army.
Riztmann noted that many of Asov’s right-wing extremist founding members had, in fact, left the Azov Battalion in the course of its integration into Ukraine’s National Guard. Once outside, they founded the right-wing extremist Azov movement."
CEP Senior Advisor Alexander Ritzmann writes: "Nonetheless, western media has come to develop a sort of Azov obsession, buoyed by a complete lack of nuance in the reporting around this group. One key factor missing in all of the analyses of the Azov: the difference between the Azov movement and the Azov regiment. The West’s Azov obsession and the inability to properly understand the overall phenomenon has even led to the spread of damaging anti-Ukraine propaganda in the media."
"Despite the Azov movement’s international notoriety, Ukraine “is not a cesspit for Nazi sympathizers,” according to Alexander Ritzmann, a senior adviser at the Counter Extremism Project (CEP), based in Berlin."
"Despite the Azov movement's international notoriety, Ukraine 'is not a cesspit for Nazi sympathizers,' according to Alexander Ritzmann, a senior adviser at the Counter Extremism Project (CEP), based in Berlin... Plus -- Ritzmann says -- there are far-right actors prominent in Russia, too. 'There is a far-right extremist problem on both sides in the conflict, but there seems to be a bias in only reporting on Ukraine's far-right problem,' he said."
Extremists: Their Words. Their Actions.
On September 26, 2018, an improvised explosive device planted at the foot of a bridge exploded, killing eight soldiers in the lead vehicle of a Burkinabe military convoy traveling in northern Burkina Faso.
CEP on Twitter
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